I’m looking for 4-5 writers to join me in a support group. What this would entail is a commitment to check on one person once a week and comment on a shared GoogleDoc. My initial thoughts are:
1. We share our task goals for the next two months.
2. We get one name per week, and that’s the person on which we check. How do we do that? We take a look at the person’s task goals, and we go to the person’s Twitter and Facebook and website/blog to see what was completed.
3. While checking, we support with a comment or retweet or share of the person’s work. This can easily be accomplished in one day and in one hour or less.
4. We then open the shared GoogleDoc and write our thoughts (favorite moments, questions, suggestions, etc.). For me, I’ll most likely do this on Fridays.
5. The next week, we get a new name and repeat the process.
The result: New connections and friendships, hopefully, as well as new ideas as to what is working and what we might not have considered before. Also, knowing that someone is checking up on us, we might just hold ourselves accountable for writing and keeping at it. It would be great to form consistency and put this platform experience to good use.
So, I’m putting myself out there by sharing some things about me. If you think you’d like to join me in such a group, please comment, and we can get this ball rolling as soon as possible, like November 1, maybe?
My name is Geralyn. I’m a married high school English teacher and the mother of two teenage sons; these boys are my first priority in life. I come from a large family, and many times, I find inspiration from my upbringing, my parents, my Catholic roots, and my devotion to the city in which I was raised, Chicago. I am the unofficial family genealogist, and I’m preparing my eight year old novel-in-progress for self-publishing. The book is called Lines--, a work of historical fiction that follows Livia Haas from an obedient farm girl to a confident supporter of the eight-hour day movement in 1870s-1880s Chicago. Currently, the proofs are with a second group of readers, and I’m waiting for the critiques before making final revisions. I also dabble with poetry and memoir, and I’m interested in trying my hand at short story and flash fiction writing. I rarely submit pieces for publication, but it’s my goal to start doing this. The few credits I have include a self-published poetry chapbook (an experiment with the process, actually), book reviews, writing advice articles, and a third-place contest essay from several years ago. I love coffee.
To get a taste of my work, I encourage you to browse the tabs and see what I do, and if you’re intrigued by this writers’ support group concept, PLEASE comment here, or send a private message on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/writer.ghesslaumagrady
This was supposed to be my weekend to get things done. I was supposed to be motivated by the Writer’s Digest Platform challenge to write, by the gorgeous weather to walk, by a day off to visit my favorite coffee house. An obstinate headache dampened the motivation, and even as my fingers touch the keyboard in front of me, I’m fighting the urge to return to my bed. The bills are done, the groceries are bought, tomorrow’s class lessons are planned. So why am I here instead of nestled into my pillow? Well, while sitting on my porch mustering up the energy to shower and get this day going, I was visited by two Jehovah Witnesses who asked if I pray. I said I did. The lady’s hand slid into her bag to pull out the Bible. I said I was Catholic, that I was familiar with the Bible, and then I wished her a good day.
Not being in the right state-of-mind and with distractions bound to occur, it seemed like a bad choice of times to share my story. It would be better if I was clear-headed and sitting at the Friendly Lounge with a cup of joe. But no one had ever asked me about prayer, and if I waited, the moment would be added to the list of things I should have done today but never got to. So here goes:
When the paramedics took him from the house, Dad couldn’t breathe...
My freshman English classes have been in mythology mode, and I'm shocked at how much I'm enjoying the experience. I never taught mythology before, but I'm apparently getting inspired by it. I hope the sentiment is similar for my students! A great connection between myths and my passion for Chicago history appeared this morning, and I felt the need to write about it.
Whenever I come up with an essay or story about Chicago, I'll be copying it onto the "Essays and Stories" section of the website. With that said, I hope you check out today's piece called "Good Morning, Aurora!" (http://www.ghesslaumagrady.com/essays--stories/good-morning-aurora.)
Well, in addition to this website (www.g-lines.weebly.com)
and the new blog that has its own tab here (www.g-lines.weebly.com/blog),
I now have a writer's page on Facebook
a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/GHesslauMagrady)
and an updated LinkedIn profile
I guess there's no excuse for not contacting me, eh?
In April 2014, I found the Writer's Digest Poem-a-Day Challenge, and the experience invigorated this "hobby" of mine. Through daily poem posts, I inspired my students by being a role model in writing, not just reading, poetry. Personally, I created habits that prepared me for the most productive summer of revisions with my novel of historical fiction. That single month was a springboard for the last 18 months of my evolving into the writer I want to be.
Writer. Although I've always written, I am not a master of any genre or form. I don't have a single voice or style. I simply play with words, so whenever someone would refer to me as a "writer," I usually responded, "No, I just write." What a shame! Self-conscious, I never wanted to share my work with others, never wanted to let people into a world I enjoyed, afraid that someone's opinion or critique might prove me a writing fraud, thus destroying a whole part of who I am. What the PAD Challenge gave me was an opportunity to share my joy of writing with a community that embraced my moments of mediocrity as well as my moments of pure genius. I walked away with a handful of poems of which I was proud, another handful of poems I let sit and returned to for revision and contest entries, and another handful of poems that, well, I cringed at. But the cringing was okay. As a matter of fact, the comeback mode after cringing is what made me feel like a real writer.
So, that book of mine. Yeah. It had been a novel-in-progress for way too long, but all those drafts later brought me to the summer of '14, when the stars aligned, when I found a writing "place," when I was still high on the PAD challenge and started believing that I was a writer. July 2015 brought my previous summer's dedication to the proof stage, and now I'm meeting with readers before the REAL final draft is set for publication. It's coming together, and that's why I am appreciative of Writer's Digest once again.
For being the "poetry guy" at WD, Mr. Robert Brewer is doing it again for the novelist in me. By posing the "October Platform Challenge," I am tackling a new goal: to create a writer's platform. In all honesty, I don't know what this month will entail, but since accepting the fact that I am, indeed, a writer, and since the book WILL be published BEFORE another summer comes and goes, I guess this is the practical next step.
Today's task: create a blog if you don't have one, and write a blog post.
(And for anyone visiting from the WD Challenge, please subscribe on the "Home" page for your chance to win a copy of LINES-- when it's released!)